Student Agenda

Our student agendas provide students and parents with valuable information regarding topics such as the Board's mission statement, Board policies, Safe and Caring schools, Code of Conduct and much more. 

Elementary Agenda 
 
Safe, Caring and Health Elementary School 
The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported. 
Attendance Matters - Make Every Day Count 

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Now is the time to start building this habit so your child learns right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college or university and in the world of work. 

Did You Know?

  • Absences can add up quickly.  A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses just two days every
       month!!

Research shows:

  • Children chronically absent in Kindergarten and Grade 1 are much less likely to read at grade level by
        the end of Grade 3.
  • By Grade 6, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. 
  • By Grade 9, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than Grade 8 test scores. 
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance. 

School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

 

What You Can Do:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and materials needed the night before.
  • Ensure your child is in a structured space where they can be monitored.
  • Don’t let your child miss class unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or
        headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to not engage online. Check with your physician if
        frequent physical complaints are an issue.  
  • If your child seems anxious about attending school, talk to teachers, the school social worker, or other
        parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning. Attending school
        regularly and arriving on time often helps students feel more comfortable and less anxious in the long run.
        Chronic absence makes it difficult for a child to feel a part of the classroom community.
  • Develop back-up plans for connecting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a
        neighbour, or another parent to help.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
  • Communicate with the school and let us know how we can best support you and your children so that they
        can connect to school on time every day. We want your child to be successful in school! If you have any
        questions or need more information please contact your child’s teacher, principal or vice principal.
  • Contact the school if you are planning on taking your child out of school for more than five days as some
        absences require the permission of the school principal. 

 

 
Safe Arrival - Automated Attendance 

In June 2018, The Durham Catholic District School Board adopted a new automated attendance system, called Safe Arrival, for reporting student absences. Safe Arrival reduces the time it takes to verify student attendance making it easier for you to report your child’s absence and easier for staff to respond to unexplained student absences. Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods:

1. Parents can log into a website:  go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll free number 1-844-288-7628
    through which absences can be reported.

3. Parents can download the SafeArrival app for iOS and Android smartphones. Search for the
    keyword school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Select Canada, select sign up,
    enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password. 

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments can be reported ahead of time. For more information, please visit the school website.

 

 
Restorative Schools 

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents.  To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school.  Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities.  It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them.  When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behavior in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship.  It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature.  The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed. 

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make
        reparations
  • Provide a voice for the victim
  • Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our classrooms to give the victim a voice and
        enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions. “How do you think your actions had
        an impact on others?” “What do you think you need to do to make things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and
        when needed,  to repair relationships
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations

All components of the virtual learning community, including communication threads, will be monitored and inappropriate comments, images, etc. will be removed by the teacher. Each situation involving student behaviour that results in progressive discipline being used will involve an investigation and a fair process as would happen during regular school operations.

 
School Code of Conduct

School Code of Conduct

All schools base their individual school Code of Conduct on the Ministry of Education Code of Conduct.  As per Board Policy and the Ontario Safe School Act, each school’s Code of Conduct will be developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the Catholic School Advisory Council.  All members of the school community will be responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct. 

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be the method of progressive discipline utilized. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be the response that is required. 

 

Statement of Purpose 

The provincial Code of Conduct sets clear provincial standards of behaviour. These standards of behaviour apply not only to students, but also to all individuals involved in the publicly funded school system whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. 

The purpose of the Provincial Code of Conduct and the School Code of Conduct is:

  • To promote the well-being and safety of all students and staff in the virtual learning environment
  • To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are
         treated with respect and dignity.
  • To promote responsible digital citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the
        school community and virtual learning environment.
  • To maintain a virtual learning environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner      characterized by respect and civility.
  • To encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • To discourage the use of alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs.
 
Guiding Principles 
  • Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility
       for protecting their rights and the rights of others.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.
  • The possession, use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of
        oneself and others.
  • Alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard.
  • The school will work cooperatively with police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention
        strategies and, where necessary, respond to school members who are in possession of, or under the
        influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and
        difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility. 
Standard of Behaviour 

I) Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship

All members of the school community must:

  • Respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws;
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • Respect differences in people, their ideas, and their opinions;
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic
        origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • Respect the rights of others;
  • Show proper care and regard for school property;
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • Respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority;
  • Respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching;
  • Not swear at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority.
  • Ensure that their communication is respectful, whether done verbally or in writing.
  • Use their own name and image when representing themselves in the virtual learning environment.
  • Complete all work to the best of their ability as independently as possible.
  • Safeguard the password to their online virtual learning platforms to protect themselves against others
       obtaining unauthorized access to their accounts. Students must only access their own account.
  • Adhere to the student dress code (as outlined for non-uniform days) when posting videos, images or
       accessing live communication. Such videos, images or live communication should be completed in a
       manner that limits access to a student’s home environment (e.g., filmed against a bare wall versus in a
       bedroom).
  • Receive the written permission of the person who posted any materials (e.g., images, videos) before
        any recording or capturing of materials is allowed. 

 

 

II) Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours;
  • Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons, illegal or illicit drugs;
  • Give alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs to a minor;
  • Commit robbery;
  • Be in possession of any weapon, including firearms;
  • Use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • Cause injury to any person with an object;
  • Be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
  • Engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or bias;
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on
        the premises of the school.
 
Consequences of Student Behaviour 

Commensurate with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Progressive Discipline Policy, when inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports, and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, provide opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be the appropriate consequence while in more serious incidents, long-term suspension or expulsion may be the response that is required. 

 

Suspension 

The infractions for which a suspension may be considered by the principal include:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis
        user);
  • Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
  • Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s
        school or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school;
  • Bullying
  • Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable: e.g.,
  • Fighting/Violence
  • Use of profane or improper language
  • Persistent opposition to authority
  • Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including “skipping” classes
  • Theft
  • Inappropriate use of Social Media
  • Any other behaviours deemed to be contrary to the school Code of Conduct.

A student may be suspended for a minimum of one (1) school day and a maximum of twenty (20) school days. 

 
Expulsion 

The infractions for which a principal shall suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from the pupil’s school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a knife or a firearm;
  • Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • Bullying, if the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and the pupil’s
        continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person;
  • Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a
        medical practitioner;
  • Committing sexual assault;
  • Trafficking in weapons or restricted or illegal drugs;
  • Committing robbery;
  • Giving cannabis to a minor;
  • Giving alcohol to a minor;
  • Any activity listed in the Code of Conduct for which a suspension must be considered that is
        motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour,
        religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
        expression, or any other similar factor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil’s
        presence in the school to create an unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other
        person(s) in the school or Board;
  • Engaging in activities on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property of
        the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable:
  • Any act considered by the Principal and Family of Schools Superintendent to be a serious violation of
        the Board or school Code of Conduct.

 

 
Mitigating Factors

Before the principal or vice principal makes a decision to suspend or recommend an expulsion he/she must consider all mitigating circumstances.

  • Whether the student has the ability to control his or her behaviour;
  • Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her
        behavior; and
  • Whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk
        to the safety of any person in the school.
Other Factors to be Considered 
  • The student’s academic, discipline and personal history
  • Whether a progressive discipline approach has been used with the student;
  • Whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to
        any harassment of the student because of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual
        orientation or to any other harassment;
  • The impact of the discipline on the student’s  ongoing education;
  • The age of the student;
  • In the case where the student has an Individual Education Plan(IEP) or disability-related needs:
  • Whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s Individual
        Education Plan;
  • Whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and
  • Whether the suspension is likely to result in aggravating or worsening of the student’s behaviour or
        conduct.

 

 

 

 
 
 Roles and Responsibility
School Boards 

School Boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the School Board to:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;

  • Develop policies that set out how their schools will implement and enforce the provincial Code of
        Conduct and all other rules that they develop that are related to the provincial standards that promote
        and support respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety;

  • Review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the community;

  • Seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory
        Committeeparents, students, staff members, and the school community;

  • Establish a process that clearly communicates the provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes
        of Conduct to all parents, students, staff members, and members of the school community in order to
        obtain their commitment and support;

  • Develop effective intervention strategies and respond to all infractions related to the standards for
        respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety; and

  • Provide opportunities for all of the staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to
        develop and maintain academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment; and wherever      possible, Boards should collaborate to provide coordinated prevention and intervention programs and
        services, and should endeavor to share effective practices.
 
Principals

Under the direction of their School Boards, principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:

  • Modeling Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe
        teaching and learning environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; and
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.
 
Teachers and Other School Staff Members 

Under the leadership of their principals, teachers and other school staff members maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, teachers and school staff uphold these high standards when they:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their sense of self-worth;
  • Empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community;
  • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • Maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
  • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the members of the school
        community; and
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship.
 
Students 

Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour.

Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student:

  • Models Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Comes to school prepared, on time., and ready to learn;
  • Shows respect for himself or herself, for others, and for those in authority;
  • Refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; and
  • Follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions.
 
Parents/Guardians 

Parents/Guardians play an important role in the education of their children, and can support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfill their role when they:

  • Support the values of our Catholic school system;
  • Conduct themselves in an appropriate manner;
  • Take responsibility and support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning
        environment for all students;
  • Show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
  • Communicate regularly with the school;
  • Help their child be neat, appropriately dressed, and prepared for school;
  • Ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • Promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival;
  • Show that they are familiar with the provincial Code of Conduct, the Board’s Code of Conduct and
        school rules;
  • Encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour; and
  • Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child.
 

 

  

Safe and Caring Schools Report It - Non-Emergency Reporting System 

Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as they happen by contacting their teacher and/or school administration.  We recognize that bullying affects a student’s sense of safety and security, and some people may not feel comfortable reporting bullying or other school safety incidents.  To help ease this worry, students and parents are welcome to use the Report It page available on the school website to report incidents of bullying or other safety concerns that have not already been reported. School safety concerns can be reported anonymously or contact information can be given so that appropriate follow-up can occur. The information provided will be forwarded to the school principal for action and a follow-up response if requested.

 
Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol - Fair Notice 

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol (C-TAIP), which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour. This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. For more information, please refer to the school website or ask the principal for more information. 

Search and Seizure 

According to the Police/School Board Protocol for Durham Catholic District School Board, it is the right and authority of the Principal or designate to search school and personal property, such as lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, etc., without notice or permission of any person as long as the Principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of school regulations and that the search would reveal evidence of that breach.  In exigent circumstances, Police may come onto school premises to conduct their own searches, also without prior notice to or permission of any member of the school community.

 
Community Partners 

Through outreach, school and community partnerships already in place may be enhanced and new partnerships developed with community agencies and other groups within the community (e.g., Kinark Family and Child Services, Aboriginal Elders). Community agencies are important resources that schools can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs. Protocols are effective ways of establishing connections between boards and community agencies and formalizing the partnership. These partnership agreements must respect all applicable collective agreements and Board policies.

 

Durham Regional Police Service Partnerships

The Durham Regional Police Service plays an essential role in making our schools and communities safer. The police investigate incidents in accordance with our Police/School Board protocol. This protocol is based on the provincial model developed by the Ministry of Education. The Durham Regional Police Service are instrumental in supporting our schools with all emergency preparedness procedures and Safe Schools initiatives.  Each of our schools has regular access to a School Liaison Officer.

 
Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School 

As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s right to privacy.  While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian. Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation.

 
Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and my classmate’s right to privacy.
  • I will use electronic devices and the internet for positive purposes to make people’s lives better.
  • I will ask or tell an adult if I see something inappropriate.
  • I will take a stand against cyber-bullying.
  • I will not copy the work of others from the internet.
  • I will not take pictures of people without permission from the teacher, principal and student.
  • I will not use an electronic device in private areas (e.g. washrooms)
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me.
 
Secondary Agenda 
Principal's Message 

“Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.” - Saint There of Lisieux

At Durham Catholic Virtual Secondary School, we are committed to the spiritual, academic, emotional and social well-being of all students placed in our care. We are dedicated to providing students with a dynamic and engaging educational experience through the virtual classroom that enables each student to grow and succeed.

In this Student Agenda, you will find some of the Durham Catholic Virtual Secondary School procedures and regulations. They are intended to be a summary guide for students and parents but are not intended to be a detailed and comprehensive account of our procedures.

We encourage parents and students to familiarize themselves with the information in the Student Agenda to ensure success throughout the year.

Thank you for all that you will contribute to making the DCVSS this inaugural year.

All the best!

Sonya Melim,
Principal 

Core Values

Our Durham Catholic Virtual Secondary School community includes our parents, guardians, students, teachers, school administration, educational assistants, adult volunteers, secretaries and custodians. We invite all visitors to join with us as we grow in Christ through His words and actions.

 

We are called to Love

We are called to Serve

Every member of our community is valued.

We will turn our beliefs into actions.

We will constantly strive to respect and love each other as Christ taught us.

We will take pride in who we are and actively show that pride in the daily development of our talents, our deportment, and our contribution to our community.

We will strive to recognize Christ in ourselves.

We will affirm each other through active kindness, courtesy, compassion, respect, patience, forgiveness, and honesty.

We will strive to recognize Christ in each other.

We will each actively participate in the responsibility of maintaining the buildings, grounds and spaces that we share, created by God for all generations.

We will strive to recognize Christ in His creation.

 
Catholic Graduate Expectations 

The Catholic secondary school graduate is expected to be:

  • A discerning believer formed in the Catholic Faith community who celebrates the signs and sacred mystery
        of God’s presence through work, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
  • An effective communicator who speaks, writes and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in
        light of gospel values.
  • A reflective, creative and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an
        informed moral conscience for the common good.
  • A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who develops and demonstrates his/her God-given potential.
  • A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work who respects the rights of all
        and contributes to the common good.
  • A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish and the wider community.
  • A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the
        sacredness of human life.
DCDSB Safe, Caring and Healthy Secondary School 
The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes that a school should be a place that promotes responsibility, respect, civility, and academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to work together to create a positive learning environment where all members feel supported. 
Attendance Matters 

Did you know?

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to
        graduation. That means no more than 4 ½ days per semester.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with
        a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • Research shows that by Grade 9, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates
        than Grade 8 test scores.
  • Missing 10 percent of a school year (or about 19 days), can drastically affect a student’s academic
        success. Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
  • Good attendance is an important life skill that will help your child successfully complete an apprenticeship,
        college diploma or university degree.
  • Good attendance is a life skill that will help your child keep a job. 

 

Make School Attendance a Priority

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, make that the expectation in your family.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs
        of anxiety. Talk to your physician or ask someone at the school (guidance counsellor, principal or vice
        principal, school social worker or child and youth counsellor) where to go for help.

 

Help Your Teen Stay Engaged

  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his/her classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats.
  • Report any concerns to the teacher or principal or vice principal.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary.
  • Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your youth’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students
        without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Monitor and limit your youth’s social media activity.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs

 

Communicate with the School

  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behaviour. These could be tied to something going on at
        school.
  • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, after school programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re
        having trouble getting your child to school.

 

Safe Arrival - Automated Attendance System 

The Durham Catholic District School Board uses an automated attendance system called Safe Arrival to report a student absence. Safe Arrival makes it easy for you to report your child’s absence, it allows staff to quickly verify student attendance which in turn allows staff to respond to unexplained student absences.

Parents are able to report their child’s absence quickly and conveniently using three different methods:

1. Parents can log into a website: go.schoolmessenger.ca to report student absences.

2. Parents can call into the automated interactive telephone system using the toll-free number 1-844-288-7628
    through which absences can be reported.

3. Parents can download the SSafe Arrival app for iOS and Android smart phones. Search for the keyword school messenger in the Google Play store or the Apple App store. Select Canada, select sign up, enter your email address that is on file with the school, enter a password.

All three methods are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Future absences, like doctor’s appointments, can be reported ahead of time. 

Restorative Schools

We believe that safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. To foster these relationships, staff in the Durham Catholic District School Board use restorative practices, including classroom circles and small group conferences to build community within the classroom and the school. Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behaviour in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. It is collaborative rather than adversarial in nature. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed. 

Catholic Restorative Schools will:

  • Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and
        make reparations.
  • Provide a voice for the victim. Use a common set of restorative questions both in and out of our
        classrooms to give the victim a voice and enable the perpetrator to determine the effect of his/her actions.
  • “How do you think your actions had an impact on others?” “What do you think you need to do to make
         things right?”
  • Use circles, or small group conferences to build community, develop empathy and understanding, and
        when needed, to repair relationships.
  • Celebrate our Catholic community through the Catholic virtues and Catholic Graduate Expectations;
  • Use think papers and reflective discussion papers aligned with the restorative questions.
School Code of Conduct 

All schools base their individual school Code of Conduct on the Ministry of Education Code of Conduct. As per Board Policy and the Ontario Safe Schools Act, a school’s Code of Conduct will be developed in consultation with parents, teachers and the Catholic School Advisory Council. All members of the school community will be responsible for adhering to the expectations as outlined in this Code of Conduct.

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the keys to maintaining a positive school environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short term suspension may be the method of progressive discipline utilized. In the case of a serious incident, long-term suspension or expulsion, which is further along the continuum of progressive discipline, may be the response that is required. 

 

Statement of Purpose 

The provincial Code of Conduct sets clear provincial standards of behaviour. These standards of behaviour apply not only to students, but also to all individuals involved in the publicly funded school system whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. The purpose of the Provincial Code of Conduct and the School Code of Conduct is:

  • To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are
        treated with respect and dignity.
  • To promote responsible citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation in the civic life of the school
        community.
  • To maintain an environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner characterized
        by respect and civility.
  • To encourage the use of non-violent means to resolve conflict. To promote the safety of people in the
        schools.
  • To discourage the use of alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs. 
Guiding Principles 
  • Responsible citizenship involves appropriate participation in the civic life of the school community.
  • Active and engaged citizens are aware of their rights, but more importantly, they accept responsibility
        for protecting their rights and the rights of others.
  • Members of the school community are expected to use non-violent means to resolve conflict.
  • Physically aggressive behaviour is not a responsible way to interact with others.
  • The possession, use or threatened use of any object to injure another person endangers the safety of
        oneself and others.
  • Alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs are addictive and present a health hazard.
  • The school will work cooperatively with police, drug and alcohol agencies to promote prevention
        strategies and, where necessary, respond to school members who are in possession of, or under the
        influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Insults, disrespect, and other hurtful acts disrupt learning and teaching in a school community.
  • Members of the school community have a responsibility to maintain an environment where conflict and
        difference can be addressed in a manner characterized by respect and civility. 
Standards of Behaviour 

I) Respect, Civility, and Responsible Citizenship

All members of the school community must:

  • Respect and comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal laws;
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity;
  • Respect differences in people, their ideas, and their opinions;
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect at all times, and especially when there is disagreement;
  • Respect and treat others fairly, regardless of, for example, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic
        origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability;
  • Respect the rights of others; Show proper care and regard for school property and the property of
        others;
  • Take appropriate measures to help those in need;
  • Seek assistance from a member of the school staff, if necessary, to resolve conflict peacefully;
  • Respect all members of the school community, especially persons in positions of authority;
  • Respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching;
  • Not swear at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority. 

 

II) Safety

All members of the school community must not:

  • Engage in bullying behaviours; Commit sexual assault;
  • Traffic weapons, illegal or illicit drugs; Give alcohol, cannabis or illegal drugs to a minor;
  • Commit robbery;
  • Be in possession of any weapon, including firearms;
  • Use any object to threaten or intimidate another person;
  • Cause injury to any person with an object;
  • Be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • Inflict or encourage others to inflict bodily harm on another person;
  • Engage in hate propaganda and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or bias;
  • Commit an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property or to property located on
        the premises of the school.
Consequences of Student Behaviour 
Commensurate with the Durham Catholic District School Board’s Progressive Discipline Policy, when inappropriate behaviour occurs, schools are required to utilize a range of interventions, supports, and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, provide opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and focus on improving behaviour. In some circumstances, short-term suspension may be the appropriate consequence while in more serious incidents, long-term suspension or expulsion may be the response that is required. 
Suspension 

The infractions for which a suspension may be considered by the principal include:

  • Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person;
  • Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or cannabis (unless the pupil is a medical cannabis
        user);
  • Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority;
  • Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school
        or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school;
  • Bullying Uttering a racial slur or comment;
  • Sexual slurs or harassment;
  • Possession and/or use of tobacco products;
  • Disrespect towards or desecration of the religious dimension of the school;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable: e.g.,
    • Fighting/Violence Use of profane or improper language
    • Persistent opposition to authority Persistent tardiness and/or truancy including “skipping” classes
    • Theft
    • Inappropriate use of Social Media
    • Any other behaviours deemed to be contrary to the school Code of Conduct.

A student may be suspended for a minimum of one (1) school day and a maximum of twenty (20) school days.

Expulsion 

The infractions for which a principal shall suspend and may consider recommending to the Board that a pupil be expelled from the pupil’s school or from all schools of the Board include:

  • Possessing a weapon, including possessing a knife or a firearm;
  • Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;
  • Bullying, if the pupil has previously been suspended for engaging in bullying, and the pupil’s continuing
        presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person;
  • Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a
        medical practitioner;
  • Committing sexual assault;
  • Trafficking in weapons or restricted or illegal drugs;
  • Committing robbery;
  • Giving cannabis to a minor;
  • Giving alcohol to a minor;
  • Any activity listed in the Code of Conduct for which a suspension must be considered that is motivated
        by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age,
        mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other similar
        factor;
  • Engaging in activities or patterns of behaviour on or off school property that cause the pupil’s presence
        in the school to create an unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other person(s) in
        the school or Board;
  • Engaging in activities on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property of
        the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property;
  • Conduct deemed to be unacceptable:
    • Any act considered by the Principal and Family of Schools Superintendent to be a serious violation of
          the Board or school Code of Conduct.
Mitigating Factors 

Before the principal or vice principal makes a decision to suspend or recommend an expulsion, he/she must consider all mitigating circumstances.

  • Whether the student has the ability to control his or her behaviour;
  • Whether the student has the ability to understand the foreseeable consequences of his or her behaviour;
        and
  • Whether the student’s continuing presence in the school does or does not create an unacceptable risk to
        the safety of any person in the school. 
Other Factors to be Considered 
  • The student’s academic, discipline and personal history Whether a progressive discipline approach has
        been used with the student;
  • Whether the activity for which the student may be or is being suspended or expelled was related to any
        harassment of the student because of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender or sexual
        orientation or to any other harassment;
  • The impact of the discipline on the student’s ongoing education;
  • The age of the student;
  • In the case where the student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or disability-related needs:
    • Whether the behaviour was a manifestation of a disability identified in the student’s Individual
          Education Plan;
    • Whether appropriate individualized accommodation has been provided, and
    • Whether the suspension is likely to result in aggravating or worsening of the student’s behaviour or
          conduct
Roles and Responsibilities 
School Boards 

School Boards provide direction to their schools to ensure opportunity, academic excellence, and accountability in the education system. It is the responsibility of the School Board to:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Develop policies that set out how their schools will implement and enforce the provincial Code of
        Conduct and all other rules that they develop that are related to the provincial standards that promote
        and support respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety;
  • Review these policies regularly with students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the community;
  • Seek input from school councils, their Parent Involvement Committee, their Special Education Advisory
        Committee, parents, students, staff members, and the school community;
  • Establish a process that clearly communicates the provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes
        of Conduct to all parents, students, staff members, and members of the school community in order to
        obtain their commitment and support;
  • Develop effective intervention strategies and respond to all infractions related to the standards for
        respect, civility, responsible citizenship, and safety; and
  • Provide opportunities for all of the staff to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to
        develop and maintain academic excellence in a safe learning and teaching environment; and
  • wherever possible, Boards should collaborate to provide coordinated prevention and intervention
        programs and services, and should endeavour to share effective practices.  
Principals 

Under the direction of their School Boards, principals take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by:

  • Modeling Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Demonstrating care for the school community and a commitment to academic excellence in a safe
        teaching and learning environment;
  • Holding everyone under their authority accountable for his or her behaviour and actions;
  • Empowering students to be positive leaders in their school and community; and
  • Communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community. 
Teachers and Other School Staff Members 

Under the leadership of their principals, teachers and other school staff members maintain order in the school and are expected to hold everyone to the highest standard of respectful and responsible behaviour. As role models, teachers and school staff uphold these high standards when they:

  • Model Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Help students work to their full potential and develop their sense of self-worth;
  • Empower students to be positive leaders in their classroom, school, and community;
  • Communicate regularly and meaningfully with parents;
  • Maintain consistent standards of behaviour for all students;
  • Demonstrate respect for all students, staff, parents, volunteers, and the members of the school
        community;
  • Prepare students for the full responsibilities of citizenship. 
Students 

Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when a student:

  • Models Christian behaviours founded in Catholic tradition;
  • Comes to school prepared, on time, and ready to learn;
  • Shows respect for himself or herself, for others, and for those in authority;
  • Refrains from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others; and
  • Follows the established rules and takes responsibility for his or her own actions. 
Parents/Guardians 

Parents/Guardians play an important role in the education of their children, and can support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all students. Parents fulfill their role when they:

  • Support the values of our Catholic school system;
  • Conduct themselves in an appropriate manner; 
  • Take responsibility and support the efforts of school staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning
        environment for all students;
  • Show an active interest in their child’s school work and progress;
  • Communicate regularly with the school;
  • Help their child be neat, appropriately dressed, and prepared for school;
  • Ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time;
  • Promptly report to the school their child’s absence or late arrival;
  • Show that they are familiar with the provincial Code of Conduct, the Board’s Code of Conduct and
        school rules;
  • Encourage and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour; and
  • Assist school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues involving their child. 
Safe and Caring Schools Report It - Non Emergency Report System 

Parents and students are encouraged to report incidents of bullying or other school safety concerns as soon as they happen by contacting their teacher and/or school administration. We recognize that bullying affects a student’s sense of safety and security, and some people may not feel comfortable reporting bullying or other school safety incidents.

To help ease this worry, students and parents are welcome to use the Report It page available on the school website to report incidents of bullying or other safety concerns that have not already been reported. School safety concerns can be reported anonymously or contact information can be given so that appropriate follow-up can occur. The information provided will be forwarded to the school principal for action and a follow-up response if requested. 

Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol - Fair Notice 

The Durham Catholic District School Board is committed to providing safe learning environments for all students, staff, school visitors and community members. When student behaviours pose a potential threat to safety or serious harm to self or others, all schools in the Durham Catholic District School Board follow the Community Threat Assessment and Intervention Protocol (C-TAIP) which outlines how a school responds immediately to threatening behaviour.

This protocol involves supports from various partners, including community agencies, hospitals and police services. Personal information shared throughout this process will always respect and balance each individual’s right to privacy while ensuring the safety of all. For more information, please refer to the school website or ask the principal for more information. 

Search and Seizure 
According to the Police/School Board Protocol for Durham Catholic District School Board, it is the right and authority of the Principal or designate to search school and personal property, such as lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, etc., without notice or permission of any person as long as the Principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a breach of school regulations and that the search would reveal evidence of that breach. Police may from time to time be invited onto school premises to conduct their own searches, also without prior notice to or permission of any member of the school community 
Community Partners 
Through outreach, school and community partnerships already in place may be enhanced and new partnerships developed with community agencies and other groups within the community (e.g., Kinark Family and Child Services, Aboriginal Elders). Community agencies are important resources that schools can use to deliver prevention or intervention programs. Protocols are effective ways of establishing connections between boards and community agencies and formalizing the partnership. These partnership agreements must respect all applicable collective agreements and Board policies. 
Student Crime Stoppers 
A student who wishes to anonymously report information about a crime in the school may call the Durham Regional Crime Stoppers community telephone hotline 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). This line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crime Stoppers does not use call display. You never have to give your name. You never have to meet police, go to court or be hassled in any way. Callers may be eligible for a cash reward. Do the right thing call Crime Stoppers and put a stop to crime in your school. It’s your school – it’s your call. 
DCDSB's Concussion Policy 

All school boards in the Province of Ontario are required by law to have a Concussion policy and school board administrative procedures in place so that students, school staff and parents/guardians understand their role in preventing, managing and reporting suspected or diagnosed concussions.

A concussion is the term for a clinical diagnosis that is made by a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner. The definition of concussion below is adapted from the definition provided in the concussion protocol in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines. 

A concussion:

• is a brain injury that causes changes in the way in which the brain functions and that can lead to symptoms that can be physical (e.g., headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty in concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression, irritability), and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty in falling asleep);

• may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, or neck or by a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull;

• can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness);

• cannot normally be seen by means of medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, standard computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

A specific concussion protocol and tool now exists in all Durham Catholic District School Board schools that includes responsibilities for Board and school staff, students and parents/guardians. Additionally, health units and sports and fitness organizations in Durham are using this protocol to raise awareness to help prevent and manage concussions.

It is important to note that all suspected concussions must be reported and a medical doctor or nurse practitioner make a diagnosis and participate in the Return To Learn and/or Physical Activity documentation process.

The concussion tool noted in this student agenda is a resource for school staff, parents/guardians and students. Parents/guardians and students are encouraged to contact your school principal for more details about the new concussion management and prevention safety protocols that exist to promote student safety and success.

For more information about the Board’s Concussion protocols, please see the Board’s Concussion Policy (PO614) and the Concussion Administrative Procedure (AP614).

Student Code of Conduct for Distance Learning 

Students participating in Distance Learning will be expected to abide by the School Code of Conduct at all times. All members of the school community will continue to be responsible for adhering to the expectations in our regular school Code of Conduct, as well as the expectations outlined in this Code of Conduct for Distance Learning. This will help to ensure that our virtual learning environments are safe and accepting for all members of our school community.

Schools within the Durham Catholic District School Board will focus on prevention, early intervention and progressive discipline as the key to maintaining a positive virtual learning environment in which students can learn and educators can teach. When inappropriate behaviour occurs, all staff members will utilize a range of interventions, supports and consequences that are developmentally appropriate, that include opportunities for students to learn from mistakes, and that focus on improving behaviour. 

 

Statement of Purpose 

The purpose of the School Code of Conduct for Distance Learning is:

1. To promote the well-being and safety of students and staff in the virtual learning environment.

2. To ensure that all members of the school community, especially people in positions of authority, are treated
    with respect and dignity in a virtual learning environment as they would be within the regular school and
    classroom environment.

3. To promote responsible digital citizenship by encouraging appropriate participation within the virtual
    learning environment

4. To maintain a virtual learning environment where conflict and difference can be addressed in a manner
    characterized by respect and sensitivity. 

When engaging in Distance Learning, students must:

• Ensure that their communication is respectful, whether done verbally or in writing.

• Use their own name and image when representing themselves in the virtual learning environment.

• Complete all work to the best of their ability as independently as possible.

• Safeguard the password to their online virtual learning platforms to protect themselves against others
   obtaining unauthorized access to their accounts.

• Students must only access their own account.

• Adhere to the student dress code when posting videos, images or accessing live communication.

• Such videos, images or live communication should be completed in a manner that limits access to a
   student’s home environment (e.g., filmed against a bare wall versus in a bedroom).

• Receive the written permission of the person who posted any materials (e.g., images, videos) before any
   recording or capturing of materials is allowed.

Restorative Practice and Consequences for Behaviour (Distance Learning)

We believe that well-being and safety begins with positive connections between the students, staff and parents. Restorative Practice is rooted in the same philosophical approach as Canada’s Native Aboriginal communities. It rests on the belief that it is best to do things with people, rather than to them. When conflict arises, using restorative practice engages students in a fair process that responds to behaviour in ways that strengthen and repair the relationship. The aim of restorative practice is to hold individuals accountable for their actions while restoring and repairing any relationships amongst each other and within the community that may have been harmed.

Within the virtual learning environment, Catholic Restorative Schools will continue to:

• Provide opportunities for someone who has done harm to determine the effect of his/her actions and make
   reparations

• Provide a voice for the person who was harmed All components of the virtual learning community, including
   communication threads, will be monitored and inappropriate comments, images, etc. will be removed by the
   teacher.

• Each situation involving student behaviour that results in progressive discipline being used will involve an
   investigation and a fair process as would happen during regular school operations. 

Permission for Photo and Video Sharing at School 
As we try to keep pace with social media that is so much a part of our students’ lives, it is important to be reminded of people’s?right to privacy.??While taking photos or videos at various school events, please be mindful that it is illegal to post/upload/share photos?or videos of anyone other than yourself your child on the internet or anywhere without the expressed consent of the person or their guardian.?Sharing photos or videos of others without their consent is a privacy violation. 
Secondary School - Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement 
  • I will respect the dignity of others and contribute to the common good.
  • I will only use social media in a manner that respects the dignity of others.
  • I will use the internet, computers and personally owned electronic devices in a manner consistent with the
        Catholic Graduate Expectations.
  • I will respect the intellectual property rights of others and not pirate or plagiarize.
  • I will protect my digital identity, my passwords, and others’ right to privacy online.
  • I will only use personally owned electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, tablets, iPods) during class time
        when it is allowed by my teacher.
  • I will not take pictures, videos or audio recordings of people without their permission.
  • I understand that inappropriate use of electronic devices make me subject to discipline as noted in the
        Board’s Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Administrative Procedure, Code of
        Conduct Policy and Student Discipline Policy.
  • I will remember Jesus’ message do unto others as I would have done to me 
Religious Education 

The spiritual dimension of our Catholic Secondary School Community shall be respected at all times. By choosing to attend Durham Catholic Virtual School, students are affirming a desire for Catholic secondary education. All students in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will take a full credit in Religious Studies. All grade 12 students intending to participate in Graduation exercises are expected to have completed 40 hours of community service on or before June 1st of their graduating year.

Students are expected to participate actively in the religious life of the school. Students must:

1. Attend all school virtual masses and para liturgies and participate reverently in the celebrations.

2. Participate respectively in offering prayers in class.

3. Respect religious symbols throughout the school.

4. Demonstrate a positive attitude toward religious studies which make up a part of each student’s curriculum.

5. Demonstrate a caring, respectful attitude toward fellow students, staff and community members. 

Use of Cameras during Class 

Expectations: The use of cameras in order to ensure that the student is attending and participating in classes is paramount for the safety and security of the classroom, as well as to the student's success in DCVSS. Parents must inform teachers if there are technology or any other issues which prevent students from appearing on camera or participating on mic.

Students will be marked absent if:

• They do not turn their camera on in class.

• They freeze their screen.

• They do not have themselves in frame.

• They are unresponsive to teacher communication during class. Unless parents indicate otherwise it is assumed that students have access to technology that works.

Parents are asked to inform the teachers if there are other issues with students prevent students from participating in class online. 

Dress Code 

The Dress Code at Durham Catholic Virtual School is intended to reflect pride in our school. Students must be in appropriate attire throughout the entire school day. It is the expectation that all students who attend DC Virtual Secondary School understand this and will be in full compliance. Changes to the dress code may be made at the discretion of the administration. All Dress Code infractions will be addressed with discretion and respect.

In keeping with the values of self-respect and respect for others, students must wear clothes that do not display scenes or words of violence, sex, alcohol, drugs, or with racist overtones. In addition, clothing worn must be appropriate for the school environment; for example, the following items are not acceptable:

  • short shorts, spandex shorts or excessively short skirts
  • bare midriffs
  • low cut blouses/shirts
  • spaghetti strap tops/dresses and muscle shirts
  • pants worn below the waist

 

Consequences

1. Students are responsible for complying with the dress code.

2. A student out of uniform must see a Vice-Principal when directed by the teacher.

3. Chronic refusal to cooperate with the uniform policy shall be interpreted as opposition to authority and
    can result in suspension. 

Computer Usage and Access Policy 

Acceptable Use of Information and Communication Technology Misuse and Consequences of Misuse

Where a computer user violates any of the terms and conditions one or more of the following consequences occur.

a) suspension or cancellation of user privileges;

b) liability for payment for damages;

c) discipline under other appropriate Board policies, including suspension, expulsion or termination of employment; or

d) civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

Disciplinary action, including, but not limited to suspension or involvement of police services, may be imposed in response to any violation of this policy when deemed necessary by the Administration based on the circumstances surrounding the offence.

When a student is using a personally owned electronic device without the permission of a teacher or principal they will be subject to progressive discipline.

When the use of personally owned electronic devices has not been authorized, they must be securely stored in a silent mode out of sight of students and staff.

Prohibited use of personally owned electronic devices that may result in a student receiving disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:

a) academic integrity being compromised (e.g. use during tests or exams); 

b) disruption to the instructional day or teaching-learning environment (e.g., unsanctioned use in class);

c) recording of activities that may negatively impact school climate including, but not limited to, recording any person without their consent;

d) violation of a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy including, but not limited to:

• posting of a person’s image(s) on the internet or in a hard copy

• taking pictures of individuals without consent. The consent of the parent/guardian is required for a student
   with special needs

• emailing pictures and/or recordings of individuals without consent

• sending inappropriate text messages or images

• compromising personal and/or school safety (e.g. bullying)

• any other situation deemed by school Administration where school security, safety, individual privacy or
   academic integrity is compromised.

All users should be aware that in some instances, transmissions, recordings or images may be reviewed and relied on, in disciplinary matters subject to search and seizure and privacy legislation.

Co-Curricular Activities 

It is the belief of the school that students whose school life is confined to the classroom miss out on a great deal that the DC Virtual Secondary School has to offer.

Every student is encouraged to take part DC Virtual Secondary School believes that participation in school sponsored activities greatly enhances student character, respect and responsibility. We encourage all students to become involved in the co-curricular program.

The school’s Eligibility Policy includes the following criteria:

• Acceptable academic achievement

• Acceptable classroom attendance

• Acceptable classroom behaviour

• A teacher feels that there has been a significant change in academic, attendance or behaviour patterns.

When a concern has been brought forward by a teacher, a review will be conducted. The review will involve the teacher, activity coordinator, Vice-Principal and the student and or parent.

Students with excessive absences will have their participation in co-curricular activities reviewed by the eligibility committee. This may result in a student losing their right to participate in co-curricular activities. 

 

Absences 
Any unexplained absence from school (skip) may result in a period of ineligibility from all school sponsored co-curricular activities. Absence from school on the day of activities forfeits the opportunity to participate on that day. Students referred for poor attendance may be deemed ineligible and/or put on probation with continued monitoring of attendance and progress. 
Suspensions 

It is an expectation that students representing DC Virtual Secondary School in cocurricular activities, be exemplary behaved. Behaviour at school sponsored co-curricular activities is subject to consequences under the Board’s Code of Conduct as outlined in Policies and Procedures for the Durham Catholic District School Board.

Upon suspension from school, the student is ineligible for all school sponsored co-curricular activities for the duration of the suspension.

Students with one or more suspensions may be ineligible for all school sponsored co-curricular activities.

Students who are suspended, must apply for a return of their eligibility status by completing an appeal process.

Student Services 
Chaplaincy 

Chaplaincy aims to foster the faith life of our school community. The Chaplaincy Team Leader, who co-ordinates this service, ministers full time with the staff and students to focus and develop different ministries of Christ as the need arises.

In particular the Chaplaincy will provide:

• counselling and spiritual direction

• encouragement of the sacramental life of the school community

• crisis intervention and bereavement follow-up

• support and resources for parents and the surrounding community

• support and a link between the school and the surrounding parishes

• encouragement to the school community to be involved in activities of social action and Christian witness,
   and

• support and resource to the religious education program of the school 

Program Support 
If, at any time, you are in need of academic or moral support, a team of teachers and educational assistants is available to assist you before classes or after school by appointment. The department offers long-term programs to many students, but it also offers the following services to individual students on a short-term basis: academic assessment, remedial activities, reading and writing improvement, enrichment opportunities, and strategies for academic success. 
Guidance 

Guidance Counsellors are teachers who assist students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to:

• Design a personalized educational plan with their course selections

• Demonstrate effective personal and social skills

• Develop a framework for realistic life and career planning in a constantly changing world 

 

Course Changes 
An individual timetable has been prepared for you by a computer program based on your choices made in My Blueprint. Every effort is made to provide students with the courses they have chosen. However, in some cases, an alternate course is necessary. It can be very difficult, sometimes impossible, to change courses and/or levels during the school year. We will do our best to accommodate the changes that are necessary and/or possible. 
40 Hours Community Involvement 

*Amended for 2020-2021 school year

For the 2020-21 school year, the Ontario Ministry of Education is revising the 40-hour community involvement graduation requirement so that students will not be adversely impacted by the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19.

For students graduating in the 2020-21 school year, the community involvement graduation requirement will be reduced to a minimum of 20 hours of community involvement activities. This recognizes that graduating students have had barriers to earning their community involvement hours last school year and there may be continued barriers this school year.

Students may wish to consider virtual volunteering, such as connecting with seniors, organizing virtual fundraising events and facilitating discussions with newcomer youth. Outdoor volunteer opportunities could include, for example, picking up litter.

In addition, the ministry is providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21, as follows:

1. At the principal’s discretion, schools may waive the restrictions that do not allow students to earn hours during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day, or duties normally performed in the home (e.g., walking a younger child to and from school, helping younger siblings with school work).

2. Students aged 14 years and older can count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours at the discretion of the principal. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete a reflection exercise indicating how their work contributed to the service for others.

All community involvement activities must be approved by a Guidance Counsellor before you begin the activity.  

Post-Secondary Requirements 

Educational planning is vital; thus, it is never too early for students to begin their research into post- secondary destinations. It is the responsibility of all students to be fully aware of program requirements at post- secondary institutions. Students are encouraged to check specific University and College Admission Calendars to determine course requirements, cut off grades, scholarship and award programs, as well as any additional admission criteria such as interviews, auditions, portfolios. Other post-secondary destinations also have specific requirements which must be met 

 
Academic Honesty 
It is essential that students demonstrate academic honesty in all aspects of school work. That means that when you gather information and ideas for a project, essay or other assignment, you must cite each source you use. This can include statistics, charts, images, quotes, paraphrasing and music, film and other media. By citing you show that you are honest and accountable for your own work. It is important that you consult with your teacher regarding proper formatting of your work and proper documentation of all research. 
Plagiarism 

If you do not give credit to the person who creates a work or expresses an idea, you are suggesting that the words or ideas are your own. That is plagiarism and it is cheating. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, submitting a piece of writing such as an essay or an oral presentation which has been created by someone else, copying a short passage without crediting the author, and paraphrasing another person’s ideas without acknowledging the author. Plagiarism is a serious offence and may result in a mark of zero.

Paraphrasing is representing the author's thoughts and ideas in your own words. This also constitutes plagiarism unless the author is acknowledged. When paraphrasing you must introduce the material (i.e.: according to Smith,…) so that the reader knows where the cited information begins. Do not use quotation marks. End the paraphrased section with an in-text citation.

Sometimes you will include in your writings information that is understood to be common knowledge (for example, the fact that World War II ended in 1945). In this case, you do not need to cite a source. However, what is held to be common knowledge in your Religious Studies class may not be common knowledge in History or English; there may even be discrepancies between different courses within a given discipline. Use your classroom experience as a guide. If a piece of information would be understood without a reference in a classroom discussion, consider it common knowledge. If in doubt, cite your source. 

Science Safety Contract 

The following are general safety rules and guidelines associated with any and all science courses. Additional specific safety instruction will be delivered on an as needed basis. To participate in any science class, you and your parent or guardian must read, understand, and sign the agreement below. Failure to do so may restrict your ability to participate in experimental activities, and possibly result in disciplinary action.

1. All students must wear the designated personal protective equipment (PPE) when requested by the teacher.
    No exceptions.

2. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible manner at all times in the classroom and laboratory.

3. Students must follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do not understand a direction or part
    of a procedure, always ask the teacher for assistance.

4. When entering a science classroom and/or laboratory, do not touch any equipment, chemicals, or other
    materials until you have been instructed by the teacher to do so.

5. Absolutely no food or drink in the laboratory. 

6. Always keep hands away from face, eyes, mouth and body while using chemicals or preserved specimens. Be
    sure to wash your hands with soap and water after performing all experiments.

7. If any chemical gets on your hands, or any other part of your body, alert the teacher and follow instructions
    (e.g. wash it off immediately).

8. Clean with supplied materials (detergent), rinse and wipe dry all apparatus at the end of each experiment and
    return all equipment clean and in working order to the proper storage area.

9. When transferring reagents from one container to another, hold the containers away from your body.

10. Never return unused chemicals to their original containers. When in doubt, ask the teacher.

11. Never remove chemicals or any materials from the laboratory area.

12. Examine glassware before each use. Never use chipped, cracked, or dirty glassware.

13. Carry glass tubing (especially long pieces), in a vertical position to minimize breakage and injury.

14. Never attempt to handle broken glass. Alert the teacher immediately and follow their instructions.

15. Never immerse hot glassware in cold water as it may shatter.

16. Report all damage and accidents immediately to the teacher!

17. If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, always ask your teacher before proceeding.

18. Never place any hot apparatus directly on a laboratory desk. Always use an insulating pad. Allow time for the
     apparatus to cool before touching it.

 

 

Elementary Agenda

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